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United Spirits sells wine unit to focus on spirits

Diageo-controlled drinks group United Spirits has sold its Bangalore-based wine division Four Seasons Wines in a bid to grow the firm’s core spirits business in India.

United Spirits produces Royal Challenge whisky

Bengaluru-headquartered United Spirits has agreed the sale of wholly owned unit Four Seasons Wines and its associated brands to Indian wine company Grover Zampa Vineyards and Quintela Assets.

As a result of the deal, Four Seasons Wine will no longer be a subsidiary of United Spirits.

The divestment “is in line” with the drinks group’s strategy “to successfully continue to monetise its non-core assets, including subsidiaries”.

Sanjeev Churiwala, executive director and chief financial officer at Diageo India, said: “This deal brings us a step closer to the structural rationalisation and simplification of our India business.

“The Four Seasons Wine business is a niche but a small part of the overall Diageo India portfolio and the sale will enable us to focus on our premiumisation strategy and grow our core spirits business in India.”

In June last year, United Spirits acquired a 26% equity stake in India’s “first authorised” alcohol delivery app, HipBar, for Rs 27 crore (US$3.96 million).

United Spirits saw its 2018 first half net sales grow by 14%, while profit after tax increased by more than 50%.

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